[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
June 5, 1987

Vaginal Spermicides and Congenital Disorders: Study Reassessed, Not Retracted

Author Affiliations

Yale University Medical School New Haven, Conn

Yale University Medical School New Haven, Conn

JAMA. 1987;257(21):2919. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390210067024

To the Editor.—  Despite the recent retraction by two of the authors1,2 of the 1981 article by Jick et al3 concerning a purported association of spermicides with congenital malformations in offspring, Jick and two other authors persist in claiming that "the literature is more supportive of an effect on chromosomal alterations, but it is far from definitive."4An understanding of the origin of trisomies5 (the aneuploidy claimed to be associated with spermicide exposure) indicates that such an association is, in fact, implausible. Chromosome banding reveals that approximately 25% of trisomies are due to meiotic errors in male gametogenesis, which occurs prior to ejaculation and before any possible contact between sperm and spermicides. Among female meiotic errors, 75% (56% of all trisomies) occur during meiosis 1, which is completed prior to ovulation and also before direct contact with spermicides. Theoretically, spermicides might be absorbed and passed to